Speak

June 28, 2011 § Leave a comment

I’m rereading Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson.  This wasn’t my first book of hers to read, Prom was, but I think it’s interesting to go back to this book after reading others of hers.  The writing style, though similar to her other books, is much more direct and purposeful, as if she took a lot more time getting each word right.

What I love most about Speak is the character’s uniquely sardonic voice.  It’s interesting how Anderson portrays this narrator who we think is perfectly reliable–after all, it is told in first person–but who is really not so reliable when it comes to her own personal life.  She sees the world from the viewpoint after Bad Thing has happened and she becomes this lackluster voice but in reality, she’s keeping Bad Thing from revealing itself to her or to the reader, and therefore we cannot take her voice too seriously.  I wonder what sort of narrator Melinda would have been like if she told a story before Bad Thing happened to her.  I feel as if her voice would be much more carefree, as evidence of how much she wishes she were still friends with her old crowd.

When I first learned this book was being taught in school, I was cautious.  Who’s heard of a YA novel that’s a contemporary classic?  But after reading it, and reading it again, I have to say that the phrase is right on the dot.  Melinda Sordino will (hopefully) be remembered along with characters Scout Finch and Holden Caulfield.

 

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